India successfully test-fires Agni-V

December 26, 2016


In its final operational configuration from Wheeler Island off Odisha, India tested its Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), paving the way for its eventual induction into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) after user-trials.

Agni-V is nuclear capable and can even reach the northernmost parts of China with its strike range of over 5,000km. It was test-fired from its canister on a launcher truck just after 11 am. "The test parameters of the missile, which was tested for its full range, are being evaluated. It will take some time to say whether it was a full success or not," said an official.

Reportedly, this final test of the three-stage Agni-V -- if it is fully successful-- comes after a gap of 2 years, due to minor technical tweaking required in the ballistic missile as well as the need for India to exercise some strategic restraint when it was seeking entry into the 48-country Nuclear Suppliers Group (which was thwarted by China) and the 34-nation Missile Technology Control Regime (which India joined earlier this year).

The tri-Service SFC will have to conduct at least two user-trials before the 50-tonne missile is produced in adequate numbers for induction. 

Agni-V was earlier tested in an "open configuration" in April 2012 and September 2013, and the 3rd test in January 2015 saw it being fired from a hermetically sealed canister mounted on a Tatra launcher truck. The missile's canister-launch version makes it even deadlier since it gives the armed forces requisite flexibility to swiftly transport and fire the missile from anywhere they want.

India, after Agni-V gets inducted, will join the super exclusive club of countries with ICBMs (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500km) alongside the US, Russia, China, France and the UK. 

Related Post